- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Conservative superPac FreedomWorks has endorsed the primary challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the upcoming Republican primary in Kentucky.

The Louisville Courtier Journal reported that tea party group would spend as much as $500,000 helping businessman and political newcomer Matt Bevin against Mr. McConnell in the Republican primary in May.

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe told the newspaper that the group will help organize grassroots opposition to Mr. McConnell, who Mr. Kibbe said has been in Washington for too long.

“For far too long Mitch McConnell has sat on the sidelines of pivotal fights, helping the Democrats pass unprecedented surveillance powers, the TARP/Wall Street bailout, numerous tax hikes and debt-ceiling increases, and Medicare Part D. Most recently, he orchestrated the McConnell-Reid sellout bargain to increase the debt limit and fully fund a broken health care law, getting a $1.2 billion “special project kickback” in the process,” Mr. Kibbe said. 

He added, “Kentucky deserves better, and looking at the dropping poll numbers for McConnell, there’s no reason to settle.”

In response, the McConnell campaign said FreedomWorks has lost its way.

“FreedomWorks was a constructive partner in the conservative movement and had been supportive of Senator McConnell’s efforts to stop Obamacare and protect the First Amendment when many organizations were afraid to speak out, but internal problems unfortunately have changed their focus from conservative reform to conservative cannibalism in order to pay the bills,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement.

Mr. Kibbe said he worried Mr. McConnell would be a weaker candidate against likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes, the state secretary of state, in the general election.

“It’s pretty clear to me that, if Mitch McConnell wins the primary, he’s highly vulnerable in the general, and if you’re worried about saving that seat, you may need to reconsider your premises about who can win,” he said. 


• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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